‘Struggling’ state pensioners awarded over £1,050 in arrears

A pensioner couple found they could claim back thousands of pounds after submitting a form for Attendance Allowance.

Worried about his parents, Tom contacted Age UK and spoke to a volunteer who helped him check if there was any financial help his parents were entitled to.

Tom said: “My dad’s 81 and my mother’s in her late 70s. My dad’s struggling to manage at home, as well as being the main carer for my mum.

“She’s partially sighted and needs help during the night. I rang Age UK Advice and they put me in touch with my local Age UK. A volunteer came round to my parents’ home and he helped me fill out the claim form for both my parents.

“As a result, my dad was awarded lower-rate Attendance Allowance and got over £400 back in arrears. My mum was awarded the higher-rate Attendance Allowance and she got more than £650 in arrears.”

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit distributed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for those over state pension age with a type of disability or illness which means support or supervision is required to help with personal care.

It’s paid at two different rates and how much someone gets depends on the level of care that they need because of their disability.

People could get £68.10 or £101.75 a week to help with personal support, up to £407 a month.

Claimants can get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if they get Attendance Allowance.

The volunteer also checked to see if Tom’s parents could get extra support.

Tom said: “The man who came round to help me with the form also gave my parents a full benefits check.

“This meant that they went on to apply for Pension Credit and Carer’s Allowance.”

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People do not have to have someone caring for them in order to claim Attendance Allowance.

The lower rate is £68.10 a week. This is for those who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night

The higher rate is £101.75 a week. This is for those who need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or a medical professional has said you might have 12 months or less to live.

Britons can claim by either printing and submitting the Attendance Allowance claim form or contacting the helpline to request a claim form

If they’re awarded Attendance Allowance, it can be paid from the start of their claim. It cannot be backdated.

Attendance Allowance helpline:

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0122
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0317

For more information, people can visit the Government website.

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